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Sacramento Council of PTAs Speaks Out Against SCUSD School Closures

February 12, 2013
As we perform our work on behalf of families and communities across the Sacramento City Unified School District boundaries our processes are guided in matters of policy such as school closures by California State PTA's position statements. 

Sacramento Current--School Closures:"Too many Questions, too little time."

Cosmos Garvin's must read article raises many important questions about the districts push to close "under-enrolled" schools.  The future of district bond measures is one issue that hasn't been talked about much in the debate over the closures.  Just a few months ago the district sold voters on approving  two bond measures to upgrade school facilities. The district had detailed assessments made of each site to give the public some knowledge of where the bond money would be spent. Now two months later eleven of those elementary schools are proposed for closure.

Questions and issues for discussion at the school closure meetings:

Why is the district closing schools in the light of the passage of prop 30 and the Governor's new policy initiative to change the way schools are funded?  Sac City is 73% free and reduced lunch students. It could receive an infusion of funds.

Letter to the SCUSD Board of Education:

       For the past ten years, the Sacramento City Unified School District has closed schools piecemeal, even when attempting to put a process like a 7-11 committee in place. Now with its back against the wall financially,  the district believes it must close a large number of schools to remain solvent. To address the declining enrollment and over capacity in the district, planning should have begun by considering  the best way to serve the needs of all of the current population of students in the district.

SCUSD School Closure List Makes Some Students Winners or Losers

     The SCUSD school closure list is out and some of the criteria behind the selection of the schools on it has been revealed. Three of  the Superintendent's Priority Schools get a pass, despite the fact they are under enrolled. Oak Ridge was on a closure list two years ago because of low enrollment and  the poor shape of its facility. Now it will be a receiving school for students from Bret Harte and Fruitridge Elementary Schools.

Ginger Rutland on Michelle Rhee-Defending the Indefensible

Much as she did when reporters on her own paper revealed mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson to be a slumlord, Bee editor Ginger Rutland now feels it necessary in the wake of the Frontline episode to rehabilitate Michelle Rhee's image. In spite of allegations of widespread cheating, a campaign of humiliating teachers and administrators and wholesale closings of schools rather than attempting to improve them, Rhee gets a pass because of her "no excuses" philosophy for education achievement for children in poverty.

Smiley and West--The Conversation: Diane Ravitch

Touching upon Race to the Top, the Chicago teachers' strike and the privatization of public education, Smiley and West's conversation with Diane Ravitch points out that the struggles in public education--the "civil rights issue of our times"--are not just about race but also about class.

My Letter to President Obama--Campaign for Our Public Schools

Dear President Obama:
I'm writing to you about your education policy. Although my children are no longer in the K-12 system here in Sacramento, I remain involved in our public schools because of their importance to the future of our country. It's clear to me that our public school system is being undermined by the very policies that are supposed to improve it. I believe that the focus of federal policy should be educational equity, not "accountability".

Campaign for Our Public Schools--October 17

Letters to President Obama
by Diane Ravitch
Great news! Anthony Cody, experienced middle school science teacher and fabulous blogger, has offered to coordinate our campaign to write President Obama on October 17.
We call it the Campaign for Our Public Schools. Anthony previously ran his own campaign called “Teachers’ Letters to Obama.” He is a champion for teachers, kids, and public education.

Chicago School Strike is Against Obama “Race To The Top” Agenda of School Privatization and Corporate Education Reform

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon -

Polls say that most Chicagoans support the striking teachers. Mitt Romney says he supports Rahm Emanuel. But why do so many who say they oppose charters, educational privatization, the drive to demonize teachers and make them temps fail to connect these policies with the Democratic president who has been their most outspoken champion the past four years?

Chicago School Strike is Against Obama “Race To The Top” Agenda of School Privatization and Corporate Education Reform – Not Against the Republicans

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Despite what CNN, MSNBC and other national news outlets, and the Obama re-election campaign want you to believe, Chicago's public school teachers are not out on strike against Republican education policies. There have been practically no elected Republican officials in Chicago in more than sixty years. Chicago's mayor and the US Secretary of Education are both Democrats, picked by a Democrat president, also from Chicago. When it gets close to election time, Barack Obama is known to say a soothing word about respecting teachers and protecting public education, to keep from driving away traditional Democratic voters. But four years of Obama's corporate-style school reform speak louder than a little timely campaign rhetoric.

From day one, the Obama administration joined and has helped co-ordinate the all-out assault on public education. Obama's campaign pockets are flush with contributions from what Glen Ford called the “charter school sugar daddies,” at whose behest he and Arne Duncan
“...spent their first year and a half in office coercing states to expand charters or lose out on more than $4 billion in federal education moneys. Obama's allies on Wall Street invest heavily in charter schools, tapping into the public money stream to build their own vision of corporate education.”


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